A serious lack of surf brought another lay day at the Billabong Pro in Tahiti, but reigning ASP World Tour Champion Mick Fanning has revealed in his latest blog that Jordy Smith is "the man to beat" when the competition gets going in the next 24 hours.
Here is Fanning's current blog entry in full, taken from his official site.
It’s day three of the waiting period and we haven’t seen a heat. The surf is as flat as I’ve ever seen it here today. I’m three coffees deep and had to do something with the buzz so I decided to bang out a little update.
Having a fun time over here staying with Alain Riou’s family down the road from Chopes. Also posted up here is Taylor Knox and Tiago Pires. We’ve had a couple of surfs out at Chopes, fun but not much to report. Also been burning over to the eastside of the island where there’s been a bit more swell.
These past few days I’ve been doing a bunch of interviews and people have been asking me how I’m feeling about my campaign so far. I’m obviously keen to get a win but I’m really enjoying my time on tour these days.
After last year it still feels like the race is close, Jordy [Smith] has been super consistent but nobody has dominated the first half of the tour like in past seasons. Jordy’s a good enough surfer that he could perform at any of the spots on tour.
In past years I’ve noticed his wave selection in Tahiti has been a little off. If he can sort that out he’ll be dangerous here. He’s really impressed everyone with his consistency in 2010. He’s definitely the man to beat at the moment. He’s surfing like a world champion and he’s got some real momentum. In saying that, we’ve had a different winner at each event this year and I think until someone wins a couple of comps the race is completely open.
Not much else to report at this stage. Friday looks like the most likely day for a start but I’ll get it together with my updates and keep you guys posted. Stay tuned for video. -Mick
When conditions improve, Fanning will open his Billabong Pro campaign in heat seven against fellow Aussie Adam Melling and Tamaroa McComb of French Polynesia.
The full start list for the Billabong Pro Tahiti Round One is:
Heat 1: Damien Hobgood (USA), Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 2: Jadson Andre (BRA), Luke Stedman (AUS), Nate Yeomans (USA)
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Marco Polo (BRA)
Heat 4: Dane Reynolds (USA), Tom Whitaker (AUS), Blake Thornton (AUS)
Heat 5: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Roy Powers (HAW), Tim Reyes (USA)
Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS), Tamaroa McComb (PYF)
Heat 8: Jordy Smith (ZAF), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Manoa Drollet (PYF)
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT), Tuamata Puhetini (PYF)
Heat 10: Kelly Slater (USA), Andy Irons (HAW), Heiarii Williams (PYF)
Heat 11: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Dusty Payne (HAW), Drew Courtney (AUS)
Heat 12: Owen Wright (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA), Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 13: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 14: Michel Bourez (PYF), Dean Morrison (AUS), Mick Campbell (AUS)
Heat 15: Taylor Knox (USA), Luke Munro (AUS), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 16: Chris Davidson (AUS), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Ben Dunn (AUS)